Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, on Saturday announced the approval of the federal government to extend the deadline for the National Identity Number (NIN)-Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) data verification, from October 31, 2021 to December 31, 2021.
Pantami, in a statement jointly signed by the Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde and the Head, Corporate Communications, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Mr. Kayode Adegoke, strongly advised Nigerians and legal residents to complete the process before the end of 2021.
According to Pantami, the decision to extend the deadline was due to the appeals by the Mobile Network Operators and other industry stakeholders, for further extension to ensure better compliance with government’s directive and to avoid widening the digital divide.
He explained that the extension would also provide the enabling environment for the registration of Nigerians in remote areas, diaspora, schools, hospitals, worship centres, as well as foreigners, diplomatic missions, and those in other areas that were hitherto unreachable.
The minister opined that the extension will also help to increase enrolments in countries with a significant number of Nigerians.
Meanwhile, this recent extension is the ninth time the federal governmen will be giving directive to postpone the deadline.
Speaking about the review of the progress of the NIN-SIM registration and verification exercise, Pantami said over 66 million unique National Identity Numbers (NIN) have been issued- an indication of progress achieved in the ongoing NIN-SIM linkage.
He however said a significant part of the populace was yet to be registered into the National Identity Database (NIDB), which he said, may be due to some challenges which the federal government had looked into and had made efforts to alleviate, hence the need to extend the deadline.
“The unique 66 million NIN enrolments, with an average of three to four SIMs linked to the NIN, is a testament to the commitment and dedication of the federal government, through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), to ensure the success of the project. With the creation of additional NIN enrolment centres within and outside the country, and many more coming up, the remaining citizens and legal residents living in the country and the diaspora should be able to obtain their NINs and link them with their SIMs before the end of the year.”